Letters: Fortnightly bin collections will make mess of streets

I have just returned to the Edinburgh area after leaving in the early 1970s to join the Royal Air Force and have served all over the world.

When I left, we had two bin collections per week and I now read with dismay that Edinburgh is considering one collection per fortnight.

I have just moved back from Swindon, Wiltshire, an area which introduced fortnightly collections over two years ago and is now in the process of switching back to weekly collections, due to the increase of vermin that the present collections have attracted.

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The increase of rats, mice and foxes has increased six-fold over the past two years. Rats run around the estates, even in daylight, and foxes are taking over the streets at night, as some of the bins are not closed fully and some of the contents are a source of food for them.

I would therefore urge the city council to reconsider this decision and think more about the long-term problems.

As stated in Swindon, recycling will never be success unless it is taken as a serious proposition and not used as a plaything.

Dr John Heatlie, Carlaverock Close, Tranent, East Lothian

Reformation is destroying nation

If Christians (and social conservatives) are losing the argument on same-sex marriage, as Alistair McBay would have us believe (Letters, August 2), then it is only by default.

Marriage between a man and a woman is a universal and natural human institution. This is the reason for its importance.

At the core of marriage is the fact that it is in the best interest of children, and of society, that they are raised in a stable unit by their natural parents. Anything which undermines marriage is certain to be against the best interests of our society.

Recent civil partnership legislation has made ample provision for same-sex couples. In Scotland, hundreds of couples take advantage of it each year, while tens of thousands marry someone of the opposite sex. We need to let a good deal of time pass to see whether the new arrangement for same-sex couples is a success and therefore in the wider interests of society.

We have had 50 years of alleged reformers destroying every institution and aspect of our society. Why should we continue to indulge them?

Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh

Trades unfairly left out of display

Throughout August in the Trades Maiden Hospital at Melville Street there is a fascinating exhibition celebrating 450 years of the historic Incorporated Trades of Edinburgh and of the Convenery of Trades. Among the exhibits is the Blue Blanket, the Edinburgh Trades Banner reputed to have been carried at the Battle of Flodden in 1513, an original National Covenant dated 1638, and a King James Bible dated 1617.

Among the Incorporated Trades are the Cordiners (1449), Hammermen (1483), Surgeons (1505), Baxters (1522) and Goldsmiths (1586), each with proud and rich histories. But surely the most surprising omissions are Brewers and Printers, two trades so closely associated with the Capital.

Duncan McAra, Beresford Gardens, Edinburgh